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Marine Life & Conservation

Shark Trust announce For the Love of Sharks 2022

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Join a host of amazing, shark loving, speakers and the Shark Trust team for an evening celebrating shark conservation at the Royal Geographical Society in London this November. The Shark Trust has some big news. They will be launching their new campaign and they need you to get involved.

Event Details

Royal Geographical Society, London

Thursday 24th November from 6pm

Tickets: https://www.sharktrust.org/Event/for-the-love-of-sharks-2022

The event will be a celebration of all things shark. Those lucky enough to get hold of tickets will hear from engaging guest speakers with a passion for sharks.

Lizzie Daly – Photo by Tom Campbell

Lizzie Daly is a Welsh adventurer, explorer and wildlife biologist. She has worked on countless productions. Most recently filming for the BBC on ‘The One Show’ and ‘Winterwatch’. She has hosted BBC ‘Blue Planet LIVE Lessons’ and run Blue Shark expeditions off the Welsh coastline. Lizzie has a real love for adventure and inspiring other women in the wildlife adventure space.

Lizzie said: “Sharks are undeniably fascinating, and every species of shark has their own story to tell. From Greenland sharks in icy waters to Portuguese Dogfish that live in complete darkness thousands of miles below the surface. Their diversity, range, biology and behaviour makes them an incredibly complex and fascinating group. Unfortunately, they are also one of the world’s most threatened groups.  

Organisations like the Shark Trust play a vital role in educating the public and policy makers about the importance of sharks. I want to do everything I can to help drive that critical work and so this is why I’m thrilled to be joining their mission.”

Alex Mustard in the Maldives

Dr Alex Mustard MBE is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading underwater photographers. He has been taking photographs underwater since he was 9 years old. He has dived with and photographed sharks and rays all around the world and will be sharing his incredible images and stories.

Other special guests will be joining the event via the power of video:

Paul Rose is a new Shark Trust patron. He is at the front line of exploration (quite literally during this event) and one of the world’s most experienced divers, field science and polar expert.

David Shiffman has just published a new book called “Why Sharks Matter” and is engaged in a worldwide tour speaking about the book and his work with sharks.

The Shark Trust team will also take to the stage to celebrate their 25th anniversary. To discuss the future of shark conservation. And, of course, to launch their new campaign.

Sneak preview of a piece of shark art by Jimmy Higgs

The evening will include a brand new, exclusive, shark art exhibition. The Shark Trust is bringing together artists from a variety of backgrounds who are passionate about wildlife, conservation, and using art as a tool for positive change. Those attending will get the chance to see some of the initial works and to meet some of the artists.

It’s an evening with something for everyone who is interested and fascinated by sharks. Join the Shark Trust, their Patrons, Trustees and Staff, along with a host of supporters for this celebration of shark conservation.

For more information about the work of the Shark Trust visit their website: www.sharktrust.org

Marine Life & Conservation

UK Shark Fin ban moves closer to becoming law

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Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation’s relentless campaigns to make Britain shark fin-free reached a new milestone last week when a private member’s bill to ban the import and export of shark fins was voted through parliament with unanimous cross-party support.

The bill is now scheduled for three readings in the House of Lords and, if successful, it will then go to King Charles for Royal Ascent and become law.

Campaign director for Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said:

“Our goal of ending Britain’s ties with the global shark fin trade is within our reach. This country has a dark history of exporting around 20 tonnes of shark fins every year and it remains legal to bring up to 20kg of dried shark fins through Customs without needing to declare it. This bill could represent a significant blow to the multi-million-pound shark fin industry. It’s now down to the House of Lords to smooth its path to the palace.”

Since July 2022 the charity has been consulting the Labour MP Christina Rees who put forward the private member’s bill after the government failed to bring its Animal Welfare Bill, that promised to ban the import and export of shark fins, into law last year.

To help improve support for the bill, Bite-Back also created a briefing document on the issues for all MPs to reference. During the bill’s final reading in the House of Commons MPs from different parties wholeheartedly endorsed the ban on the import and export of shark fins.

In her closing statement Christina Rees MP said that she hoped this bill would ‘drive up the standards of global shark conservation’.

Bite-Back will now turn its attention to educating and inspiring members of the House of Lords to vote in favour of a ban.

Follow the bill’s progress at www.bite-back.com and learn how you can get involved in supporting shark conservation initiatives in the UK.

Header image: Finned sharks underwater- Copyright – Scubazoo.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Shark Trust calls for global shark citizen scientists

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Never let a shark sighting go to waste!

The Shark Trust has launched a new smartphone app that makes it simple for everyone to get involved in shark science and conservation. The new app brings together five citizen science projects into one place, allowing users to report: shark sightings, eggcase finds, Basking Shark observations, angling catches, and incidents of shark entanglement with marine litter.

Through these projects, anyone with an interest in sharks, skates and rays can contribute to important research and have a lot of fun along the way. The findings can be submitted from anywhere in the world and will help scientists by providing a range of vital data from some of the 1200+ species of sharks, skates and rays that swim in our ocean.

As users submit their findings across the five citizen science projects, they will build a logbook of their research contributions. These are saved in their profile and shared with the wider community, so users can see what other people have recently been discovering.

Alongside this important citizen science aspect, there are also 50 collectible shark cards to unlock: 30 bronze cards, 15 silver cards, and five gold cards. Submitting to any of the projects unlocks a card at random, so you never know what you’re going to find!

Shark Trust App for Great Eggcase Hunt: Image by James Harris

The Shark Trust’s flagship citizen science project, the Great Eggcase Hunt, which encourages the public to find the empty eggcases (or mermaid’s purses) of sharks and skate on the beach or submit those seen developing in situ, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Senior Conservation Officer Cat Gordon says “We’re really excited to be celebrating the Great Eggcase Hunt’s 20th anniversary this year! As part of the celebrations, we’re releasing this brand-new citizen science app, hosting a public evening event, and planning a special edition of the Trust’s membership magazine Shark Focus. The project has grown substantially since 2003, when we received just 128 records in the first year, to having a staggering 50,212 individual eggcases recorded in 2022 alone! In total, we’ve received over 370,000 eggcases since the project began, and we hope the app inspires even more people to get out and about in search of mermaid’s purses!

The Great Eggcase Hunt element of the app features eggcases from species which can be found in the Northeast Atlantic, as well as those in Australia (working in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation). In time we will add identification materials from more regions, but until then, records can still be submitted from outside these areas. This app replaces the previous Great Eggcase Hunt app which was launched in 2014 – so if you previously used that then please delete it and download the new version!

If you are interested in sharks, skates and rays and want to help contribute towards research and conservation, the Shark Trust citizen science app is for you. Everyone from the occasional beachgoer to seasoned divers and anglers can get involved.

Paul Cox, Shark Trust CEO, says “For a while we’ve wanted to make it easier and more fun for people to identify and record their sightings. Thanks to a generous donation from Animal Friends Pet Insurance, we’ve been able to create this great tool with local gamification specialists, Kazow Games. We’re really excited to get this app out into the world and start to see more recorders getting involved with our projects.”

Search for ‘Shark Trust’ in the relevant app store, download the app today, and start recording your findings. We are already working on some exciting updates and are still welcoming feedback, so if you have opportunity to try it out, please let us know what you think!

Let’s build a global community of citizen scientists who can help protect these incredible animals together!

Find out more on the Shark Trust website.

Header image: James Harris

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